Press Release

26 February 2014

Over recent years the number of patients using hospital emergency services has risen at an alarming rate, placing the staff who work there under increasing pressure.

To address this ever increasing trend and to ensure that the future workforce in urgent and emergency care in East Kent is able to give patients consistently high quality, safe and effective care, the England Centre for Practice Development at Canterbury Christ Church University, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT) and the Ambulance Service and Commissioners of Primary Care in East Kent have joined together to work on an innovative project.

The project, funded by a grant of £250,000 by Health Education England Kent Surrey and Sussex, aims to solve the current difficulties in urgent and emergency care and shape the way staff work together in the future. It will identify any current and potential future gaps in the urgent and emergency care workforce in East Kent Hospitals, local ambulance services and community health care, ensuring that the future workforce will have the required skills to provide a seamless and integrated service.

It will also pilot an accredited Physicians Assistants and Advanced Practice workplace learning programme to support the workforce development plan; and develop a way to measure how new roles and changing priorities are impacting upon the patient experience, as well as assess how individuals, teams and the organisations are delivering an integrated service.

Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse, Director of Quality and Operations at EKHUFT, said: “We have been working with the University, and provider and commissioning colleagues, to describe the clinical strategy and service model for integrating urgent and emergency services across the East Kent health and social care system. 

“The service transformation required will need our future workforce to work across patient pathways in a much more integrated way. This will support the strategic aim of keeping people well at home, providing complex health and social care interventions at home or in the community, and reducing unplanned admissions to hospital.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to continue to transform our services and strengthen our ability to provide person-centred, safe and effective care”

Carrie Jackson, Director of the England Centre for Practice Development, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this innovative project in partnership with East Kent Hospitals, ambulance and primary care services.

“Universities play a key role in helping health and social care services to find creative solutions to workforce issues that will shape the way services need to transform to meet the needs of the communities they serve.

“We are particularly delighted that this project involves a wide range of professional agencies and services and will help to implement innovative programmes for workplace learning to support the development and needs of the current and future workforce. This is the best way to ensure all patients get the care they need, when they need it and that it is delivered by highly-trained and experienced staff."

The project addresses a report published last December by NHS Health Education England on emergency medicine report that offered to support NHS Trusts in identifying the current and future workforce shortages and needs in training for emergency care.


Notes to Editor

  • The England Centre for Practice Development is hosted by the Faculty of Health and Social Care at Canterbury Christ Church University. It is part of an international network of practice developers who are members of the International Practice Development Collaborative (IPDC). It is committed to the innovation of services and practices at the point of care to ensure that they are person-centered, safer and more effective. For more information visit:

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 94% of our recent UK undergraduates are in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2012 UCAS).
  • We are one of the South East’s largest provider of education, training and skills to the public service careers.

*2011/12 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey


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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:16:00